Retirement parties /les Soirées pour les retraités

Tonight and tomorrow, I will be attending retirement events. It is pleasant to see old work-mates. Wishing them good luck and exchanging information about what has transpired since we last met. It makes for an enjoyable evening.

On souhaite la bienvenue à la retraite à deux collègues cette semaine. On peut offrir nos vœux et nos recommandations, on peut jaser avec des amies qu’on n’a pas vues depuis un an ou plus. Mais un exercice personnel peut nous être profitable.

So many things can transpire at such gatherings. Those still active in the workplace have easy conversations relating to concerns and recent events. We who are retired find the gap growing greater with each such reunion. It is not only that it has been so long since we conversed, or since we faced the day to day routine of work, or the politics of the workplace, but rather it is a strange and growing feeling of detachment and a recognition that our reality has evolved.

Lorsque les mois de retraite additionnent on voit augmenter la distance entre nos préoccupations et la réalité de ceux encore au travail. Oui, on comprend leur situation mais outre l’empathie, nous avons une impression qu’on regarde une situation à travers de vitre ou bol de verre. Les joies et les souffrances ne nous touchent presque plus.

With the distance imposed by retirement, we can afford to analyse how we felt prior to hanging up the skates, the day we walked out the door for the final time and today. How many items have I crossed off my list? Do I even have a bucket? Have I gone off on a direction that I had not anticipated? Is it time to set a new tack?

Je vous avoue que la retraite m’avait fait peur. Je ne pouvais pas concevoir d’un moi sans me définir par le travail. J’ai eu à travailler pour mieux me connaître, pour oser essayer de nouvelles choses. Ma découverte est l’aquarelle.

How fortunate to have fallen into painting, getting carried away with my watercolours! No, it was not planned nor on a bucket list. For the fun of it, I had attempted to jot down things to do before doing would no longer be feasible. Perhaps I lacked insight, or perhaps the next 15 years of my life will be amazing… I have not stepped onto the grass of any new country, mastered any new languages, etc. Few items have been crossed off.

Alors de penser que je puisse donner des conseils aux nouveaux retraités est ridicule. Je ne vais que les souhaiter la liberté de se découvrir de nouveau et le courage d’oser, de chercher à vivre chaque jour pleinement.

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